Pop Culture Spin

The Best Characters on TV Right Now: The Top 10!

It’s time to conclude my list of my favorite characters on TV right now. These top 10 are the absolute best characters on TV in my humble opinion. Did your favorite make the cut? If not, sound off in the comments.

10. Jessica Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)

Fresh Off the Boat is a relatively new show, but Jessica leapt out as one of the best sitcom characters I’ve ever seen almost immediately. Few other characters on TV right now can keep up with her comedically and she’s also a sympathetic and interesting character.

9. Rachel Goldberg (UnREAL)

Rachel is an incredibly refreshing female protagonist. She started off seeming like a bit of an every girl, but quickly revealed herself to be complicated, dark and, at times, deeply unlikable. She’s not always someone you root for, but she’s always interesting.

8. Liv Moore (iZombie)

Liv Moore is my favorite superhero on TV right now. Despite how badly her life has gone awry and how many sacrifices she’s had to make, she stays strong and continues to prioritize helping other people above everything else.

7. Jimmy Shive-Overly (You’re the Worst)

Jimmy is hilariously unlikable and just vulnerable enough to keep the audience invested in him. The cynical, sarcastic character archetype is nothing new, but it’s executed exceedingly well with Jimmy. I mean, the man still re-reads erotic fiction he wrote when he was 11. He’s got me entertained.

6. Gretchen Cutler (You’re the Worst)

Gretchen can be hilarious and, at times, aspirational, but she’s also painfully relatable and heartbreaking. And she’s also mean and unlikable. The show’s depiction of clinical depression didn’t hold back and meant a lot to many people, while still feeling wonderfully specific to Gretchen as a character.

5. BoJack Horseman (BoJack Horseman)

BoJack is the perfect combination of melancholy life observations and horse puns. He is always finding new and creative ways to self-sabotage, which keep the show interesting. Every turn in his life is deeply bizarre while somehow feeling emotionally resonant.

4. Kimmy Schmidt (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

The first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was not only an example of incredible joke-writing, but also an emotional journey. Moments like Kimmy defiantly telling the Reverend that he’ll never break her or her monologue about how a person can survive anything for 10 seconds possess an emotional strength that is truly rare.

3. Richard Hendriks (Silicon Valley)

Richard Hendriks’ is an easy underdog to root for because it’s undeniable that he has an incredible gift for his one specific talent, programming. But he’s absolutely awful at just being a person in life and that’s really holding him back.

2. Diane Nguyen (BoJack Horseman)

Bitter feminist Diane is not the kind of character you usually see caught in the central love triangle of a show. BoJack Horseman is refreshing in how it allows the primary love interest to be so much more– to the point where BoJack’s romantic interest in her became essentially irrelevant. She’s heroic in episodes like “Hank After Dark” when she’s the only one crying out for justice, but also an absolute mess in future episodes where she sleeps in all day and stays in a drunken haze. In a world where there aren’t enough female characters who are smart role models and there aren’t enough female characters who are fun disasters, it’s great to see someone who is allowed to be both.

1. Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)

Tina is the ultimate teenager with her extreme social awkwardness, but what makes Tina incredible is that she still maintains a strong sense of self and positivity. In many ways she’s a portrayal of how awful being a middle schooler is, but because of her inner strength and the emotional support system her family provides, watching her is also a deeply cathartic experience.

That’s it for my list! Be sure to check out the rest of my top 100:

20-11

30-21

40-31

50-41

60-51

70-61

80-71

90-81

100-91

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